sanctions force Russia to recycle semiconductors from home appliances for its weapons, US says

The Russians would now use, for its military equipment, semiconductors recovered from dishwashers or refrigerators to circumvent the economic sanctions which prevent it from obtaining supplies.

The losses of materials on the front, and the considerable consumption of ammunition begin to be felt hard in the war. And economic sanctions are not helping Russia.

According to the US government, the Russians are now using semiconductors recovered from dishwashers or refrigerators to circumvent economic sanctions that prevent it from replenishing its stocks of electronic components, essential for renewing its military equipment. “Reports tell us that Ukrainians found Russian military equipment on the front line filled with semiconductors removed from dishwashers and refrigeratorsCommerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during a US Senate hearing, reports the washington post.

The global shortage of semiconductors, these electronic components essential to operate our cars, televisions or computers, has affected manufacturers since the start of the health crisis and has worsened since the start of the war in Ukraine. Double trouble for Russia, which is deprived at the same time of importing these products from Western countries. The export of American technologies to Russia has thus fallen by nearly 70% since the start of the sanctions imposed in February, Gina Raimondo indicated to the senators.

Sanctions have in fact been reinforced for telecommunications equipment, semiconductors and high-tech avionics or maritime equipment. And today, the overall number of U.S. products exported to Russia is down 85%, according to Commerce Department spokesperson Robyn Patterson, quoted by the washington post.

Essential components for weapons

Semiconductors are essential for the production of military equipment and in particular precision missiles, as demonstrated in particular by British researchers from the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) who went to dissect carcasses in Ukraine. Precision missiles, namely cruise missiles and short- and medium-range ballistic or semi-ballistic missiles that can be guided, are essential for Russia, which must feed, in the war of attrition it is waging in Ukraine, its powerful artillery which continues to pound the Ukrainian lines in the Donbass.

And the Russian army has already used a large part of these precision missiles. “They find it difficult to replace them“, said a senior Pentagon official recently at a press conference. This type of weapon indeed requires materials that Russia imports, mainly from Western countries. “We believe that sanctions and export restrictions, especially on electronic components, have an effect on the Russian defense industry sector“, added in this sense the senior official.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also discussed recent reports during the Senate hearing, reports the washington postaccording to which two Russian manufacturers of battle tanks were forced to stop production due to a shortage of electronic components.

If the Russians therefore seem to suffer from a serious supply shortage in this area, they are in any case not the only ones. “Shortage of chips fuels inflation. Demand is up 20%, and supply is not keeping up. The chips are used in life-saving equipment in hospitals. Lives are at stake“Also alerted Gina Raimondo. The Democrat supports the Bipartisan Innovation Act, a bill to improve U.S. manufacturing and supply chains. In Europe, the EU has released significant funds on its side to help manufacturers and quadruple the production of semiconductors.


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